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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

tired mixer

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01-13-2018 22:04:58

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I have one of those little 3.5 cu ft orange cement mixers like harbor freight sells now. The last couple of months it and I have made some 90, 80 lb bags for some smoother walking out back. Doing the setups I finally broke down and rented a 20 lb electric hammer from home depot. I can't wait to get to do that again and kill some more of this rock. I have fought this rock for 40 years and that hammer made me feel like Dirty Harry!

Anyway back to the mixer. I have had this thing for a LONG time and done a lot cement with it. I was talking to the Mrs this week about how I don't have any memory of getting it or how it got assembled. I THINK it was assembled when I bought it. Funny how something like that is completely missing from my memory. I think it would have not needed repair so soon if I had taken care of it's storage. I always let it set with the barrel pointed down so it wouldn't hold rain, thinking that was pretty smart, wrong! The bearings for the barrel are not sealed all that good and rain did get in to them and the way it is built it is trapped in the upper bearing (if you store it pointed down). This last slab I did, about half way through it started screeching and grinding which my Dad always said was not good. I drilled a whole in the back side of the barrel an pumped oil in it. This got me enough time I could finish and stopped the squawking. That was last Sunday. Today I took it apart and learned how it is put together and found the top bearing was in pieces mostly because of sitting in water over the years. I was lucky to get done what I did with the mixing. There are two bearings about 2 inches apart. They are 6305 shielded bearings. They run inside a built up carrier,assembled at the factory, which should of been fine if water hadn't got in. I had three bearings from some my Dad had, I think his IH tandem disc. Filled the housing with grease and put it all back together and it sounds so much better! I also made it so I can grease the pinion shaft that drives the barrel. It should last a long time now.

The first time I tried to use this mixer the paddles in it were pretty worthless. There was nothing at the back of the drum to make the cement do something besides just slide around. So I put two little 1 1/4 angle irons in the drum to make the mix follow and roll. The paddles that came with it were so high from the drum the mix mostly just went under them so I made two 1 1/4 X 2 1/2 angles with holes and bolted them inside the barrel to. Made a real sweet little mixer out of it. It does just fine with 2 -80lb bags at a time.

Glad it is ready to go again. OH, an interesting thing about it. All the little bolts that hold it together have 10mm hex heads and nuts. The thread however is the same as 1/4 20.

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Stan in Oly, WA

01-14-2018 17:17:30

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  
Russel; I've owned two of those little orange Harbor Freight mixers. They don't come assembled, and they don't go together real quick. The angle stock at the rear of the bucket is a great idea. The only thing I did to mine was to cut off the diamond shaped front end of the flanges. There was no way any useful part of that front end could engage the mud unless the mixer was so full and it was lowered so close to horizontal that a lot would slop out. What I made that turned out to be really useful was a boxlike platform about ten inches high with a part cut out from one edge to the center, so that it looks like a giant square letter C. I put the mixer on the platform and strap the axles down with plumbers strapping tape and put a couple of bolts through the plate at the bottom of the leg. The cutout in the platform lets me run a six cubic foot wheelbarrow right up under where the mouth of the mixer will be when I swing it over, so I can dump the concrete right into the wheelbarrow without spilling any. I must have made that platform more than ten years ago, and I've used it dozens of times---maybe fifty. I had a Sears mixer for about twenty years, and I extended the frame on it to make it about a foot higher for the same purpose. I painted it so that everything matched, and so that it wasn't such a rusty eyesore. Unfortunately, the paint hid rust to a structural element of it, or maybe I wouldn't have seen it, anyway. So the last time I used it, working on a friend's job, I let him talk me into mixing much bigger loads than I normally did. We got a few loads poured, making a curb or something like that, and the next load (or the last load would be another way to put it) made the arm that held the mixer buckle and collapse. It was probably a good thing that it happened when it did. We only lost a few hours and had to get rid of some of what we had poured. If it had happened on some of the projects I've done, before and since, it might not have been so convenient to stop unexpectedly. I've done a number of projects where a cold joint would have been completely unacceptable.


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ed will

01-14-2018 11:14:13

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  
Hi, I have a mixer that does a good sized wheel barrow at a time. It is quite an ingenious set up. It is a 3 pt set up with pto driving a gear that has rollers. The drum has a large gear with teeth. When you dump the contents of the drum the driven gear rises out of the rollers then when empty you tilt it back and it engages on the roller gear again. Ed Will Oliver BC

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01-14-2018 07:10:10

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  

this was my old mixer,,bought it from an old man my dad knew,,about 40 years ago,,I did many,,many side jobs with this old mixer,,Its too heavy and big for me now,,a few weeks ago I gave it to a young man in the same town where I Grew up.I have the same type of mixer you described in the barn in PA,,It would be all I need if I Ever do any masonry again

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Stan in Oly, WA

01-14-2018 16:40:39

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to larry@stinescorner, 01-14-2018 07:10:10  
What a beautiful piece of equipment, but what a monster.


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01-14-2018 10:48:15

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to larry@stinescorner, 01-14-2018 07:10:10  
40 years ago I had a mixer just a bit smaller than that one. It was great when I could shovel ingredients in. Would easily mix a wheelborrow and a half at a time. Used a half size grain scoop to fill it. Can't do that much lifting now.

I got it real cheap. Someone had put a gas engine on it and had the pulley ratio wrong. First time I tried to use it the barrel spun so fast centrifugal force kept the mix from falling! I got a little briggs with a gear reduction and it worked great.

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01-14-2018 14:56:25

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-14-2018 10:48:15  
Russel, same story here, rescued a mixer from the scrap pile at work.

It had a 2 HP Briggs on it, spun so fast, even at slowest idle it would not mix, then it would die.

I found a gear reduction electric motor, rigged a variable speed pulley system on it.

Had that thing for 30+ years, works like a charm!

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Fred Werring

01-14-2018 06:27:56

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  
Bought one of those mixers 20 years ago, mainly to mix different grass seeds and innoculate clover before spreading.

Always thought it wouldn't mix cement very well due to the paddles like you pointed out. Need to put in the angle like you did, as I'm thinking of trying it with concrete for a couple small jobs...gotta be better than mixing it in a wheelbarrow. Did you just put the angle directly under the existing paddles? Bolt or weld?


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01-14-2018 10:55:42

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to Fred Werring, 01-14-2018 06:27:56  

Just bolt in. Doesn't take much

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steve terplak

01-14-2018 05:53:11

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  
Speaking of tired mixers...I am still using the one my grandfather bought USED in the 40's. That thing has poured a lot of concrete...

It sits in my scrap metal pile...it has for years...it is heavier than sin so I never feel like hoisting it onto the tuck when I take a load...so it sits...I want to get one of those lightweight plastic jobs or a 3 pt. Hitch but never see one cheap enough used to satisfy me. Then another project comes up and I haul that stupid boat anchor out and, lo and behold, it works great.

Maybe one of these times it won't work and I will have to buy something newer and lighter.

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01-14-2018 18:00:28

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to steve terplak, 01-14-2018 05:53:11  
Steve - I rigged a frame to allow me to mount my mixer on my three point hay forks. It just slides on, and a little 1/4" chain secures it. It's now a self propelled mixer, so to speak.

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01-14-2018 04:48:13

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 Re: tired mixer in reply to RusselAZ, 01-13-2018 22:04:58  
You reminded me, my dad in law had a mixer that attached to the 3 point hitch on a Fergy. The back of the mixing drum had a car tire that ran against an extension on the pto. It worked good. To empty the mixer you raised the hitch arms, it did bigger batches than most stationary mixers. I suppose there's still some of those around.

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